Cumbria’s rugby union teams have begun discussing potential changes to the league structure for next season, with Barrow-based Hawcoat Park stating their preference for playing in an expanded division.

The Maroon and Whites currently play in Cumbria Division One, which was one of two county-based leagues set up this season after 19 Lancashire clubs resigned from the North West structure last summer.

It is a division made up of only eight teams, with the final round of its regular season coming this weekend, after which it splits into two, with the top four playing each other home and away and the bottom four doing likewise.

In the eyes of Hawcoat Park chairman John Horne, the prospect of facing certain teams so often and the ad-hoc nature of planning travel in the latter part of the season is where the current structure falls down.

Horne said: “From out viewpoint, there are only eight teams in the league this year and whilst that’s competitive, it’s not good to be playing teams four or five times a year.

“Our lads want to be playing different teams, so from our viewpoint, an eight-team league, no matter how competitive it is, it’s not good for us and I think it’s the same for the others.

“We would prefer, somehow, to get a Cumbrian league of maybe ten or 12 teams to get more fixtures, rather than this business of where it’s splitting now and we didn’t even know who we’re playing.

“If you’ve got 12 teams in there, you’ve got a set fixture list where you’re playing A, B, C or D on given days and from that viewpoint, we’d be happy if our league was increased by three or four.”

Representatives from the RFU travelled up to Keswick on Tuesday to discuss with Cumbrian clubs the different options in terms of league structures and gauge the varying opinions that were on offer.

A potential structure across the North will be drawn up on the week beginning February 18, which the clubs in the area will then decide what will be the best way to move forward the following month.

Horne said: “Each club is different – what we’re pushing for won’t be what some of the other clubs might want.

“The problem is there are not enough teams in Cumbria to make two really competitive leagues, in all honesty, and you’re making the best of a bad job.

“Here in south Cumbria, we’ve got a hell of a lot of travelling each time we go into north Cumbria and it’s as easy to go down the motorway into Lancashire as it is to go to places like Silloth and other places north of the county.”